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Who has not heard of Homoeopathy? From the 
German centre in which it originated, this strange med- 
ical doctrine, with its stranger practice, has diffused 
itself, in sixty years, throughout the civilized world. 
In the United States alone, it has between two and three 
thousand educated practitioners. It is a vast and grow- 
ing power in the scientific sphere of thought, demanding 
earnestly the attention of every intelligent man. Its real 
merit may be partially measured by the strength of the 
obstacles it has overcome. In the beginning every thing 
was against it. The doctors ridiculed it ; the people dis- 
trusted it. It was assailed alike by professional jokes and 
by doggerel poetry. The novelty of its principle, the 
smallness of its dose, the extravagance of its claims, the 
dogmatism of its founder, the eccentricities of its adher- 
ents and the exactions of its practice, all conspired to 
retard its reception. It then had no colleges to teach — no 
hospitals to verify — no journals to disseminate its discov- 
eries. How changed is all this at the present day! 

It had also to contend against the weight of authority, 
the prestige of great names, the power of prejudice, the 
influence of fashion, an immense commercial and corpora- 
tion interest in the old order of things, and the pre-occu- 
pation of the whole ground by a powerful, learned and 


jealous profession. These are still its real and only ene- 
mies : not truth, or light, or reason, or science or nature. 
Independent and candid physicians came slowly to J its 
rescue. The indolence of some, the timidity of others, 
and the self-interest of all, impelled them in the conserv- 
ative direction. Still the heresy grew. When there were 
not physicians to urge it upon the people, there were 
people to demand it of the physicians. Its vitality was 
indestructible. Persecuted from one place, it sprang up 
in another. Extinguished here, it ignited there. When 
one man rejected it, a dozen adopted it. Thus on, on it 
went, until it became what it is, which is only a prophecy 
of what it will be. Time has falsified the predictions of 
its enemies, but has not softened their bitterness. When 
they said it was declining, it was just wakening into life. 
When they declared it was dying, it was growing into 
power. And now that they swear it is dead, it is likely 
to prove immortal. 

And yet. my good reader, what is Homceopathy? It 
has excited a great deal of public attention and private 
discussion. Every Allopathic professor ventilates the 
subject annually to his credulous class, and every Allo- 
pathic physician portrays its follies and its dangers to his 
restless patients. Nothing is so much talked about, and 
nothing so little understood. The "regular profession" 
universally sees it in a false light. It is indeed a curious 
subject. There is some truth in every thing which has 
been said against it, and some weakness in every argu- 
ment which has been propounded for it. And still the 
Homoeopathic law of cure — "similia similibus curantur" 
— is the vivifying principle of scientific medicine — the 
grand thought which is to revolutionize the medical 
world. It is worth studying. I have the ambition, and 

I think I have the power, to explain to you what Homoe- 
opathy is ; what it really professes to be and to do ; its 
essential nature and necessary limitations — without a 
particle of theorizing — in a plain, practical and convinc- 
ing manner. What if it be not Hahnemannism, the 
Homoeopathy of the past ? Reflect candidly on my views 
and ask yourself as you read, Is not this the Homoeo- 
pathy of nature, of reason, of common sense — the 
Homoeopathy of the future ? 


In the first place : Homoeopathy is not a new and 
perfect Science of Medicine. It is no new gospel, no 
new revelation to the medical world. All such claims 
are preposterous. It is not Science, but a part of it. It 
is not Medicine, but a grand reform in one of its depart- 
ments. It has no new Anatomy or Chemistry or Physi- 
ology or Pathology. It has no new Surgery or Obstet- 
rics, although it has made great improvements in the 
medical treatment of surgical and obstetrical cases. It 
does not reject the accumulated experience of ages. It is 
not "the grave of scientific medicine," but its cradle. It 
holds fast to all that is good in the storehouses of the past. 
Every fact is of use to it. Every truth is in sympathy 
with it. It repudiates nothing but error. The whole 
cycle of sciences, physical and psychological, is necessary 
to its full and final development. 

Secondly : There are many measures (not medicines) 
valuable or indispensible in the treatment of disease. 
Such for instance as relate to the proper and scientific 
regulation of temperature, light, air, water, food, exercise, 
habits and the various influences which modify our mental 
and moral life. There, too, is the vast realm of Hydro- 


pathy — a therapeutic world in itself — the operation of hot 
and cold water, of ice, steam, vapor, local and general 
bathing, packing, etc., etc. Electricity, also, galvanism, 
magnetism, mesmerism, kinesipathy and chrono-ther- 
malism, are no doubt exceedingly valuable in the treat- 
ment of many diseases. All these are not Homoeopathy. 
They neither exclude it, nor are they excluded by it. 
They constitute a grand collateral department of the 
Healing Art — in the most friendly alliance with the 
homoeopathic administration of drugs. 

Thirdly : Homoeopathy does not interfere with the use 
of mechanical measures, nor even with the use of drugs 
for certain mechanical purposes. Vomiting may expel a 
poison from the stomach, a gall-stone from the biliary 
ducts, or a false membrane from the windpipe. The 
Homoeopathist may thus use emetics for their mechan- 
ical effect. Ergot to empty the uterus, belladonna to 
dilate the pupil, chloroform to relax the muscles, sulphur 
ointment to kill the itch-insect, vermifuges to destroy 
and expel worms, and in certain cases astringents, dilu- 
ents, emollients and protectives, (such as collodion,) 
are examples of drugs being used to bring about certain 
mechanical ends, all admissible in the strictest homoeo- 
pathic practice. Purgatives in some cases of great intes- 
tinal obstruction or torpor, become simple mechanical 
agents. Even blood-letting, as a mechanical measure, is 
perfectly allowable to the Homoeopathic physician. He 
does not use it simply because the superiority of his med- 
icine enables him to cure his patient without it. " Let 
your lancet rest," said a distinguished Homoeopathist, 
"but do not throw it away." 

Fourthly: There are chemical means of cure often 
available, and which act according to the laws of inor- 

ganic or organic chemistry, as the case may be. The 
antidotes for many poisons are used on this principle, 
and, of course, in the doses found requisite by laboratory 
experiment — a certain quantity of antidote being required 
to neutralize a certain quantity of poison. How often 
have we Homoeopathists had to answer the silly question, 
whether or not we treated arsenical poisoning by small 
doses of arsenic? Examples of chemical therapeutics 
are the following: Acids and alkalies for excess of 
alkalinity or acidity in the gastro-intestinal or urinary 
secretions; vegetable acids for scurvy; alkalies to dissolve 
inspissated mucus in some bronchial affections ; certain 
remedies which modify the chemical condition of the 
blood ; iron for an impoverished state of that fluid, phos- 
phate of lime when deficient in the bones; chlorine, char- 
coal, lime, creosote and other antiseptics to arrest or 
prevent putridity, etc. This is not Homoeopathy; neither 
is it Allopathy. It is vital chemistry, operating by special 
laws of its own, and equally free to the advocates of any 
system of medicine. 


Having thus briefly surveyed those departments of 
practice in which Homoeopathy, as such, does not profess 
to operate, we can approach more understanding^ to the 
far greater and more important field in which it gives us 
the sole law of cure. The only point of dispute between 
Allopathists and Homoeopathists is about the vital or 
dynamic action of drugs, and their application in the 
cure of disease. What is a medicine? Given to the 
healthy man, in sufficient dose, it is always a poison. 
The Greeks had but one word for medicine and poison. 
That drugs have any special healing, mollifying, curative 


effect is merely a popular superstition. Every drug is a 
poison, and it cures by means of its poisonous or disease- 
producing properties. Every dose of medicine occasions, 
beyond all dispute, an artificial disease. This artificial 
disease is the secret of the cure. Every dose of medicine 
given by an Allopathist to cure a sick man, would, if he 
were well, make him sick. Let this great truth, so ignored 
by the profession, so unknown to the public, be kept con- 
stantly in mind. The idea is very ancient. An old 
Sanscrit poem declares that poison is the remedy for 
poison. The homoeopathic law peeps out even in Hip- 
pocrates, the father of medical literature. It is hinted at, 
or sometimes openly declared, in the saws and axioms of 
almost all the nations. Shakspeare, who caught up every 
thing which was true and beautiful by a kind of divine 
instinct, thus teaches us Homoeopathy : 

"In poison there is physic: and this news, 
Having been well, that would have made me sick, 
Being sick, has in some measure made me well." 

[Henry IV, Part 2, Act 1, Scene 1. 

Never forget it. Drugs always produce artificial dis- 
eases. These artificial diseases are the mediums of the 
cure. Where shall they be produced and to what extent ? 
These are the only vital questions. The Allopathist, in 
accordance with certain theories of disease and its cure, 
employs the poisonous properties of drugs to produce 
certain physiological perturbations, vomiting, purging, 
sweating, increased or diminished secretions, narcosis, 
depletion, stimulation, etc , etc., which he believes will 
effect his object. His general idea is to produce a state 
opposite to that already existing. The Homceopathist 
repudiates all this theory and practice, and affirms that 
diseases are cured by those drugs which produce similar 


diseases, in strong doses, on the healthy man. Both par- 
ties use poisons to cure. The situation, extent and char- 
acter of the poisoning or artificial disease are the only 
mooted points. A slight, similar, morbid impression in 
the diseased spot, is the simple and beautiful law of 
Homoeopathy. The Allopathist, having no such thera- 
peutic law — nothing but his crude and often contradictory 
theories to guide him — produces very strong morbid 
impressions, sometimes similar, and sometimes dissimilar ; 
sometimes in the diseased point, sometimes in distant 
points ; often in both. Sometimes one of his medicines 
produces one set of these symptoms, whilst another medi- 
cine produces the other. Sometimes a second medicine 
is required to undo what he had effected by the first. 
He pulls down, only to build up again. Now he blows 
hot, then cold ; and so on. In fact, his philosophy is a 
labyrinth and his practice a chaos. 

Hahnemann states our therapeutic law in the following 
terms: "A dynamic disease in the living economy of 
man is extinguished in a permanent manner by another, 
that is still more powerful, when the latter (without 
being of the same species) bears a strong resemblance to 
it in its mode of manifesting itself." Leaving out the 
unnecessary and unestablished hypothesis, that the new 
disease is stronger than the old one, this formula is the 
most practical and beneficent generalization which has 
ever been made in the science of medicine. A dynamic 
natural disease (not a mechanical or chemical deviation 
from the normal standard) is best cured by producing a 
similar (not the same) dynamic disturbance in the same 
parts and tissues, which therefore manifests itself by simi- 
lar symptoms. This is the only " indication" in Homoe- 
opathic practice. This is the clue which leads us out of 


all the old labyrinths of speculation and experiment, and 
makes available the disease-producing power of drugs. 

Now this is the fundamental idea of Homoeopathy, its 
true basis, its corner stone, its only essential element. 
All other questions — of large or small doses, of pellets or 
tinctures, of dynamizations, of what Hahnemann said, of 
wliat this or that disciple said or did, of imagination, or 
diet, or nature, or imposture, etc., etc. — all these ques- 
tions and many other such, have no bearing on the point 
under trial, and are altogether collateral and impertinent. 
No matter what solution they receive, Homoeopathy 
remains intact, vital, indestructible and sure to be 
the medicine of the future, unless you overturn this 
grand pedestal, this natural or vital law, on which it has 
been erected. It is only the small fry of Allopathy, 
knowing little and thinking less, who attempt to ridicule 
this principle, "similia similibus curantur " — "Like cures 
like." The great leaders, the intelligent men of their 
school, although attacking our system just as bitterly on 
the unimportant side-issues, do not dare to impugn the 
truth of the fundamental law. They content themselves 
with attempting to limit its applications. Witness the 
following evidence from the very highest Allopathic 


" When Hahnemann promulgated this therapeutic formula, 
" similia similibus curantur" he supported his assertions by cita- 
tions from the practice of the most illustrious physicians. There is 
every proof that local inflammations are frequently cured by the 
direct application of irritants, which cause a similar inflammation ; 
the artificial irritation substituting itself for the primitive one." — 
Trousseau et Pidoux, Traite de Therapeutique, Tome 1, page 470. 

" Supercession. By this process is meant the displacing or pre- 
vention of one affection by the establishment of another in the seat 


of it. It is a general, though by no means a universal pathological 
law, that two powerful diseases or forms of abnormal action, cannot 
exist in the whole system or in any part of it at the same time. If, 
therefore, we can produce a new disease or new mode of abnormal 
action in the exact position of one that may be existing or expected, 
we may possibly supercede the latter; and if the new disorder sub- 
side spontaneously, without injury, we cure our patients. The 
operation of numerous remedial agents may be explained in this 
way." — Wood's Therapeutics, vol. 1, page 54. 

" Upon this ground we are disposed to suggest the use of strychnia 
in tetanus ; not that we have become followers of Hahnemann, but 
that it is a simple and undeniable fact, that disorders are occasion- 
ally removed by remedies which have the power of producing 
similar affections. It is quite unnecessary to explain this fact by 
an arbitrary principle, that one artificial irritation excludes a spon- 
taneous irritation of the same kind. A more rational ground for an 
expectation of benefit from Homoeopathic remedies may be found in 
the consideration, that such agents prove by their occasional pro- 
duction of symptoms like those of the disease to be treated, that 
they act on the part which is the seat of the disease, and conse- 
quently that there is a probability, that in their operation on that 
part (whether it be to the extent of producing a similar disease or 
not) they may effect a beneficial change. Oil of turpentine, for in- 
stance, having been known to produce a discharge of bloody urine, 
might be rationally administered in a case of spontaneous hema- 
turia.— Dr. Symouds' Article on Tetanus, Cyclop, of Pract. Medicine, 
vol. 4, page 375. 

For myself, I accept the above paragraphs as a very fair 
exposition of the principles upon which I practice what 
is called Homoeopathy. Out of the mouths of the most 
intelligent and independent "regular" physicians, I can 
establish the truth and rationality of the Homoeopathic 
law. I might multiply quotations by the dozen, but 
the above are sufficient. We differ, not as to the nature, 
but as to the extent of this great therapeutic principle 
immortalized by Hahnemann. Our Allopathic friends 
give it a subordinate place : we insist upon its suprem- 


acy. They acknowledge its partial influence : we main- 
tain its universal applicability in the vital sphere. If 
they would abandon their unproved theories of disease, 
their perturbative measures of cure, their experimenta- 
tion upon the sick, instead of upon the healthy, for their 
knowledge of drugs, and apply their own philosophy to 
practice, with a discreet diminution of all their doses, 
they would soon discover for themselves the universality 
of the Homoeopathic law. 

The great truths of Homoeopathy are sometimes 
acknowledged by Old School thinkers in other shapes and 
under other hypotheses. Take for instance the following 
passage from a splendid work on Pharmacology, (vol. 1, 
page 32) by Prof. Geo. B. Wood, whose admirable lec- 
tures I attended twenty years ago in the University of 

" The sensibilities are often different in health and in disease, so 
that the same medicine may produce opposite effects in these two 
states. Thus, cayenne pepper, which produces in the healthy fauces, 
redness and burning pain, acts as a sedative in the sore throats of 
scarlet fever. A concentrated solution of acetate of lead, applied to 
the denuded skin or to a mucous membrane, acts as an irritant ; 
while the same solution, very much diluted, will operate as a seda- 
tive through the peculiar powers of the medicine." 

Leaving out his theory of " different sensibilities," 
" opposite effects," "stimulant action," " sedative action" 
— all mere hypotheses, good examples of the vicious, the- 
orising propensities of the Allopathic school — what are 
the naked facts which Dr. Wood here acknowledges? 
That acetate of lead produces a severe irritation of the 
healthy tissues, whilst a very much diluted preparation 
of the same substance cures a similar irritation ; that cay- 
enne pepper produces a burning sore throat in the healthy 
man, but cures the same kind of a sore throat in the sick 


one. Yes, Prof. Wood ! push your own teachings here 
to their logical issue, and they will lead you into all the 
great truths and therapeutic blessings of Homoeopathy. 
Arsenic concentrated will inflame the stomach ; diluted, 
will cure a similar state. Colocynth concentrated will 
purge and gripe ; diluted, will relieve the same symp- 
toms. Cantharides concentrated will produce strangury ; 
diluted, will cure it. Belladonna concentrated will con- 
gest the brain ; diluted, will relieve a brain already con- 
gested ; and so on, and so on, through the whole Materia 
Medica. What further proof do we need of the truth and 
rationality of the Homoeopathic principle ? 

Indeed, who does not see that the opposite doctrine, 
" contraria contrarils curantur" — " opposites are cured 
by opposites " — has no foundation in reason or nature ? 
•It is a phrase or an idea accommodated to the shallowness 
of our untutored thought : just as we say, "the sun sets," 
when yet science teaches us that the sun never sets, but 
that his appearance and disappearance depend upon the 
revolutions of the earth. There are no " opposites" in 
any such sense as this ancient medical heresy suggests to 
the mind. Cold is not the opposite of heat, but its nega- 
tion ; darkness is not the opposite of light, but the effect 
of its withdrawal ; ease is not the opposite of pain, but 
its absence •, weakness is not the opposite of strength, but 
the want of it ; a slow pulse is not the opposite of a rapid 
one, but its diminution. Inflammation, neuralgia, dropsy, 
vomiting, purging, etc., have no "opposites." Drugs pro- 
duce no "opposites" to these morbid states, but only more 
or less inflammation, neuralgia, dropsy, vomiting, purg- 
ing, etc. Allopathy is dissipated by analysis. Homoeo- 
pathy, " similia similibns, v more or less accurate, more or 
less scientific, more or less freed from collateral impedi- 
ments, is the final issue of all medical progress. 



There are three branches or classifications of the 
Homoeopathic principle when applied to practice, each of 
which it is important to consider. 

1st. When we produce a similar morbid impression in 
the diseased organ, we practice direct, irritative or sub- 
stitutive Homoeopathy. This includes nine-tenths of our 
daily use of drugs : it is pure Homoeopathy. 

2d. When we produce a similar morbid impression in 
a distant healthy part, in sympathetic relationship with 
the diseased part, so that the morbid impression is reflect- 
ed or communicated by nervous transmission from one to 
the other, we are practicing indirect, sympathetic or trans- 
positive Homoeopathy. 

3d. When we produce a morbid impression in healthy 
parts to prevent or exclude an approaching or threatened 
similar affection, we practice what may be called preven- 
tive or anticipative Homoeopathy. 


The most obvious illustration of direct, irritative, or 
substitutive Homoeopathy is found in the common treat- 
ment of those local diseases which are within the reach of 
our hands and instruments. The use of caustic or irri- 
tant eye-washes to inflamed eyes, of nitrate of silver to 
sore throats or to the neck of the uterus, the introduc- 
tion of medicated bougies, of stimulant injections, as in 
hydrocele, ascites, etc. ; and the application of blisters, 
caustics, iodine, etc., to ulcers, erysipelas and other 
cutaneous affections, are examples in point. Whatever 
explanatory theory may sway the mind of the physician, 
the ultimate fact is, that a similar artificial disease has 
been induced in the diseased tissues. The Allopathist 


has perhaps not reflected on the essential point of simi- 
larity. But how can it be otherwise ? Can he cure an 
inflammation by producing a neuralgia in the part ; or 
a hemorrhage, by occasioning a dropsy ; or a convulsion, 
by bringing on a cough ? He will find that all of his local 
applications to diseased points are themselves irritant, 
and he will perfect his practice by making their use as 
homoeopathic as possible. 

By an easy and natural step we pass from this point to 
another, which is the most important and perhaps the 
most novel one in our whole exposition. Homoeopathic 
medicine is but an extension to the invisible interior of 
the body, of the therapeutic principle which the Old 
School finds so efficient in the local treatment of disease. 
There is no reason why inflammation of the brain, liver, 
heart, lungs, bones, or any deep seated organ or tissue, 
should not be as readily modified and cured by direct 
irritants, as similar morbid states in the capillary system 
of the eye, throat, the urethra, or the skin. If the Allo- 
pathists could have cauterized the brain, lungs, liver, etc., 
they would have done so long ago ; and, reasoning from 
analogy, with every prospect of success. Now nature 
has provided us with a vast number of specific caustics or 
irritants to every organ and tissue in the body. By 
means of the well-recognized specific affinities of drugs 
for certain organs and tissues, we can produce artificial 
diseases in any given point of the body. What nitrate of 
silver is to the throat or eye, belladonna is to the brain, 
cantharides to the kidney, arsenic to the stomach, tartar 
emetic to the lungs, calomel to the liver, nux vomica to 
the spinal cord, etc., etc. That idea leads you into 
But how shall we compel nature to render up to us the 


secret of these glorious specifics? By long and painful 
experimentation upon the sick, the Old School has stum- 
bled upon the homoeopathic uses of a good many drugs. 
Mercury for syphilis, copaiva for gonorrhea, sabina for 
uterine hemorrhage, calomel for inflammations of the 
mucous membranes, tartar emetic for pneumonia, rhubarb 
in diarrhea, ipecac for vomiting, nux vomica for asthma, 
quinine for intermittent, tonics for debility, alcohol for 
delirium tremens, and turpentine in urinary diseases, 
may- be cited as illustrations of the fact. Almost all the 
so-called "alteratives" of Allopathy cure upon homoeo- 
pathic principles. Individual physicians have here and 
there, now and then, used almost every drug on homoeo- 
pathic principles: but the above specific applications 
have received a very general endorsement from the pro- 
fession.' When Allopathic physicians use those drugs in 
the above mentioned diseases, they are practicing a crude 
bungling Homoeopathy, with too large doses, however 
ignorant they may be of the fact. 

Samuel Hahnemann enriched the science and reformed 
the practice, of medicine, by discovering the true way to 
get at the specific operation of drugs. Whilst engaged 
in translating Cullen's Materia Medica from English into 
German, he was struck with the darkness which sur- 
rounded the action of Peruvian bark. The idea occurred 
to him, that the true way to solve the mystery and to 
ascertain the pure and unadulterated power of drugs, 
was to take them in large doses when in perfect health. 
With a wonderful spirit of honest research, and a noble 
self-sacrifice, he took Peruvian bark until it produced in 
him an attack of intermittent fever, for which it is spe- 
cific. That, my good reader, was the cradle of Homoeo- 
pathy. Hahnemann and his pupils and disciples pro- 


ceeded to construct a new Materia Medica, by expert 
menting upon themselves with full doses. This has 
been the pure homoeopathic method of obtaining 
such knowledge ever since. This new, re-constructed, 
reformed Materia Medica is the true glory of Homoeo- 
pathy. Of its priceless worth our Allopathic friends 
have no conception. It is to them a vast and shapeless 
chaos of material, which they had rather ridicule than 
study. It has indeed its faults, its errors, its fallacies, 
its fantasies, all of which may be eliminated by philoT 
sophic analysis, leaving a residuum of incalculable value. 
From this great Materia Medica nine-tenths of our 
practice is drawn. It is no child's play, no apprentice's 
labor, no first-class student's work, to study, to under- 
stand and to practice Homoeopathy. Cultivated minds 
have sometimes shrunk away from the task, and affected 
an incredulity they were too intelligent to feel. 


1 shall now proceed to demonstrate that a very large 
remaining part of Allopathic practice, namely, that 
known as counter-irritation or revulsion, is also essen- 
tially homoeopathic in its action. When a drug is given 
to a sick man, no matter what the physician proposes in 
his own mind to do, the upshot of his practice is, that he 
produces an artificial disease somewhere in the body. If 
it is a similar disease in the diseased point, he practices 
homoeopathically and cures his patient. If it is a dissim- 
ilar disease in the same point, he practices allopathically 
or anti-pathically, and does not cure him. But suppose 
he cannot or does not reach or act upon the diseased 
point at all. He then produces an artificial disease in 
some distant and healthy point. What relation does this- 


distant disease bear to the existing one? If it is an 
altogether different disease, it just inflicts so much addi- 
tional suffering and injury on the patient. A cramp in 
the stomach cannot cure a cough ; a hemorrhage from the 
kidneys cannot cure a neuralgia ; a convulsion cannot 
cure a sore throat, and so on and so on. But a similar 
disease in a healthy point, may, by reflex action, sympa- 
thy or nervous transmission, cure a similar disease natu- 
rally existing in some other point. Let us illustrate this 

A blister to the skin frequently is advantageous in 
certain stages of pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, 
bowels, etc. The value of mustard plasters is known 
to every body. How do they act? The common theory 
is, that they detract nervous and vascular supply from 
the diseased internal point towards the surface irritated — 
that there is a transfer of disease from the centre to the 
circumference. Now this supposed derivation is all sheer 
hypothesis. Pereira, a very high Allopathic authority, 
pronounces it to be "perfectly gratuitous and incapable 
of proof." The truth is precisely the opposite. They 
reflect their surface-irritation over to the inflamed organ* 
and cure it homceopathically. Dr. Wm. Stokes, one of 
the greatest Old School writers, acknowledges that "a 
part at least of the utility of blisters is owing to the 
direct stimulation conveyed to the capillaries of the 
diseased tissue. They are essentially stimulants." No 
other explanation than this is needed. 

Let us watch nature and deduce our philosophy from 
her beautiful processes. Burns, which are accidental 
blisters, frequently produce internal inflammations. An 
extensive burn on the abdomen will cause inflammation 
and ulceration of the bowels — on the chest, it will inflame 


the lungs; on the head and face, the brain. So of all 
irritations ; they are reflected from point to point in 
sympathetic relationship. The cold douche to the sur- 
face, contracting the cutaneous capillaries, repeats its 
impression, by nervous transmission, on the visceral 
capillaries, and so arrests internal hemorrhages, etc. 
The organic state produced in one point, is reproduced or 
repeated in others. The irritated surface reflects its own 
state over to the point naturally diseased, and this reflected 
stimulation is equivalent to a direct cauterization, or to 
the action of a drug specific to the point. Purgatives, 
by irritating a vast tract of mucous membrane, will 
relieve, or at least palliate, upon this principle, a great 
number of internal diseases. This is indirect, sympa- 
thetic or transpositive Homoeopathy. The homoeopathic 
law is at the bottom of all such cures. 

While thus teaching that there is but one philosophy 
of cure — that the key to Homoeopathy is also the key to 
every thing that is good and useful in Allopathy — and 
that the homoeopathic law underlies all rational medicine 
as its true foundation, and has never been understood in 
its whole length and breadth, and power, by either its 
enemies or its friends, I would not have my reader to 
suppose that it is immaterial whether one practices one 
system or the other. The superiority of Homoeopathy 
to the old practice cannot well be estimated or described. 
The difference between them is like that between silver 
and gold. Our law of cure surrounds us with a new 
atmosphere of light, beauty and order. Our Materia 
Medica is rich in therapeutic resources. We have scores 
of wonderful specifics which accomplish for us what we 
wish, without resorting to the coarse, cumbrous, complex 
and often injurious appliances of the Old School, even 


though the latter have the homoeopathic law as the secret 
of their occasional success. There is one thing, however^ 
we demand as our right. If at any time our finer and 
purer homoeopathic measures should fail, owing either to 
the infancy of our art, to the imperfection of our knowl- 
edge, or to the peculiar difficulties of our case, we are 
warranted in resorting, without being guilty of any 
inconsistency, to any other medicines or measures which 
we honestly believe to have a genuine homoeopathic foun- 
dation for their remedial value. Our practice, then, can 
be misunderstood only by the very ignorant or the very 


This class of homoeopathic measures is rather small at 
present, but is probably capable of very great enlarge- 
ment. Vaccination is an artificial disease, of which the 
essential element is a sore or pustule, precisely resem- 
bling- that of small pox. The effect on the system mys- 
teriously lasts a great while, and prevents or excludes 
the poison of small pox from affecting the protected 
individual. Belladonna produces many of the symptoms 
of scarlet fever ; and it is regarded by many as a valua- 
ble preventive of that terrible disease — that is, keep the 
Child under the influence of the belladonna poison, and it 
excludes for the time being the scarlet fever poison. To 
paint the sound skin around an inflammation with caustic, 
iodine, etc., to prevent its extension, is also an example 
of anticipative Homoeopathy. But the best illustration 
is found in the use of Quinine for the cure of intermit- 
tent fevers. Dr. Wood, (Allopathic,) explains its action in 
this manner : Quinine produces certain morbid impres- 
sions in the same nervous centres through which the 
natural causes of intermittent operate. If the Quinine- 


poisoning is effected during the interval of the parox- 
ysm, the malarial poison is excluded from operating on 
the nervous centres, and no paroxysm occurs. This 
production of a similar artificial disease before hand, to 
prevent or exclude one which is threatened, is anticipa- 
tive Homoeopathy. It may furnish the clue to the future 
discovery of many prophylactics. 


We naturally propose to ourselves an explanation of 
every thing we see. We love to understand causes. Alas ! 
how seldom are we gratified. The greater, the grander 
the fact, the less do we know of the causes of it. Life 
and all its phenomena is a world of mystery, of whose 
causes we know nothing. The apple falls to the ground, 
but we can discover no cause for gravitation. The needle 
trembles toward the pole, but we cannot tell why iron is 
magnetic. We can assign no adequate reason for any 
one of the thousand wonders of chemical affinity. So of 
the Homoeopathic law. But the facts remain always 
the same, and we can use them as we please. "Like 
cures like," is as fixed a fact as any thing in physics. 
Why like should cure like may never be fully known. 
Still, our homoeopathic philosophers have made many 
brave and ingenious attempts to solve the enigma. The 
literature of the school, French, German and English, 
swarms with theories and speculations on this inexhausti- 
ble theme. I wrote a book myself on the subject, a 
dozen years ago, and I have now a still more elaborate 
and recondite theory to broach, if I thought it would be 
worth the while. But there is no use of it. Homoeo- 
pathy is entirely founded on fact. The law, the Materia 
Medica, the dose, the application, the success, have no 
foundation but facts. The world has theorized long 


enough, especially the medical world. Homoeopathy sets 
the true, practical example. It is a branch of the Positive 


Ah, yes ! What about the dose ? chuckles the unbe- 
liever. Indeed the small dose, the apparent inadequacy 
of the means to effect the end in view, is the great 
stumbling-block in the way pf the New School. And 
still, the dose, like the law itself, is not a matter to be 
settled by theory and speculation ; but a mere matter of 
fact and experiment. The principle says nothing about 
dose. He who gives an ounce of epsom salts in a case 
of diarrhea, prescribes homceopathically just as truly as if 
he gave the same substance in the hundred millionth of 
a grain. Hahnemann and his disciples began by giving 
large doses, but produced such aggravations that they 
were obliged to diminish them greatly. They pushed 
the attenuating process, as most of us believe, to an 
unnecessary and even absurd degree. Still, it is a ques- 
tion only to be determined by experiment. I prefer to 
use our medicines in very small but still appreciable 
quantities — quantities which would have no influence 
whatever in health, or on any part of the system except 
upon the diseased point. The whole scale, however, from 
the crude natural substances up to the highest infinitesi- 
mals, should be open to the choice and the practice of 
every candid and sensible man. 

Several general truths may be mentioned as tending 
to make the small dose of Homoeopathy more credible or 
plausible to those who demand something more than the 
simple trial of it in disease. 

All the great operations of nature, those of heat, light, 
chemical action, etc.; and those also of the human frame, 


particularly the wonderful modifications of the nervous 
fluid, are carried on by microscopic, atomic and infinitesi- 
mal movements, almost transcending our imagination. 

Our medicines, vastly attenuated by trituration and 
succussion, present an immeasurably greater surface for 
action, becoming thereby more electric or magnetic, or 
at any rate more subtle, penetrating and permeating ; so 
that they effect a more perfect contact with the deepest 
recesses of the vital tissues, where the atomic, microscopic 
and infinitesimal operations of life are taking place. 

Matter is indestructible, and no matter how far the 
subdivision be extended, every drop of the alcohol used 
as a vehicle must be pervaded with the infinitesimal 
atoms of the drug. 

There are many natural agencies, malaria, effluvia, 
etc., which cannot be seen, felt, weighed or analysed by 
man, which yet produce the most powerful morbid 
impressions on the system ; so gradually and insensibly 
too, that man at the time is wholly unconscious of their 
action. It is not unreasonable to suppose that homoeo- 
pathic drugs may act in a similar manner — nothing being 
felt by the patient beyond the gradual removal of the 

Homoeopathic writers have illustrated this difficult 
point with great learning and ingenuity. Some of their 
more intelligent opponents know that their objections 
are really answered, and they are secretly put to the 
blush ; but they cannot forego the malicious pleasure of 
keeping the " small dose " before the world as the essen- 
tial part of Homoeopathy. Believers in Homoeopathy 
are, however, either persons of education and culture, or 
they are people of that strong, practical habit of thought 
which looks straight forward to the result — the effect — 


without troubling itself to understand the causes or the 


There are several natural limitations to the operation 
of pure Homoeopathy, which it is necessary to remember, 
before denouncing the practice of professed Homceopath- 
ists in certain cases. 

1st. We only profess to be able to cure those morbid 
states which we can imitate on the healthy body. We 
have discovered no drug which will produce any thing 
resembling a deposit of tubercles in the lungs, fatty depos- 
its in the tissues of the heart, cancerous degeneration of 
the breast, etc. We shall no doubt add greatly to our 
remedial discoveries in the future ; but at present there 
are many morbid conditions which we cannot produce 
by drugs, and for which, consequently, we have no 
homoeopathic specific. 

2d. Some diseases are naturally incurable — not only 
the above but many others — such as ossification of the 
heart, softening of the brain, aneurism of the aorta, 
epilepsy, certain forms of paralysis and dropsy, etc., etc. 

3d. Life itself is dependent upon certain conditions, the 
presence of certain natural elements and certain physio- 
logical stimuli acting on those elements. We must 
remove so far as possible the causes of disease. We 
must give food and air and water. Sleep also is a vital 
necessity. Sometimes it is a mere question of sleep or 
death. If we cannot remove by our specifics the morbid 
condition which prevents sleep, before the vital powers 
would become exhausted, we must administer opiates, or 
do any thing which will produce an artificial sleep. Some- 
times, also, the excitability of the system has been so 
greatly exhausted by protracted or prostrating diseases, 


that a bottle of wine is worth all the medicine in the 

Now, in such cases as these, with patients afflicted with 
strange and incurable diseases, or with those for which no 
homoeopathic specific has ever been discovered, what is 
the Homoeopathic physician to do? Is he to give them 
up into Allopathic hands, under the plea that he only 
practices medicine where he can make the homoeopathic 
law available ? Not if he is a man of scientific culture 
and independent character. He will do the best he can 
under the circumstances. He will palliate by every means 
in his power ; and it is astonishing sometimes what relief 
homoeopathic remedies can give, even when they cannot 
cure. But, he need not confine himself to homoeopathic 
remedies. His treatment should be empirical — any thing 
and every thing which promises to do his patient any 
good. If he falls short here of the most intelligent and 
wide-extended eclecticism, he is ignorant of his duty or 
faithless to his trust. 


Homoeopathy, therefore, is a reform in the central and 
main field of medical practice — a reform effected by the 
discovery of a great therapeutic law, " similia similibus 
curantur" and by the construction of a new Materia Med- 
ica, which reveals to us the disease-producing properties 
of drugs. 

A Homoeopathic physician is one who uses the surgical, 
obstetrical, mechanical and chemical measures of the Old 
School ; who, in the vital or dynamic sphere, is guided by 
the Homoeopathic Law ; and who, beyond its natural and 
necessary limitations, is an empiric and eclectic in the 
most liberal and enlightened sense of these words. 



What have the "regular physicians" to say against 
this rational and beautiful philosophy and practice of 
medicine ? How do they endeavor to blind themselves to 
its real merits and the public to its further reception? 
The fact is, that nine times out of ten they know little or 
nothing about it, and have neither the time nor the dis- 
position to learn any thing more. They think that Prof. 
Andral and Prof. Simpson and Dr. Holmes, etc., have 
examined the question fairly, decided point blank against 
it, and that it should now be laid on the shelf. More- 
over, they are getting along very comfortably as they are. 
Why should they fluster themselves and their little circles, 
lose some of their practice, alienate their brother-doctors 
and commit themselves to a new doctrine, which cer- 
tainly has had its fair share of trials, persecutions and 
misrepresentations to encounter? Innovaters need not 
count on "the powers that be" to assist them in their 
labors. Some acute writer has remarked, that if it 
were not for the restless spirit of inquiry and progress 
existing in the laity, there never would have been a 
single permanent reform in law, government, theology or 

Still they must have some answer to give this inquiring 
public, when it presses them closely on the homoeopathic 
question. In their published expositions, they generally 
attack the visionary theories of Hahnemann with great 
fury. If Hahnemannism were Homoeopathy, the system 
would have long ago been demolished. But Hahnemann- 
ism is a man of straw. Homoeopathy is a different thing 
altogether, and demands a very different kind of answer — 
not yet given. To the public our opponents make many 
objections. The "small dose" comes in for the main 


share of ridicule and incredulity. The story of little 
Johnny Smith, who swallowed all the sugar pellets in his 
mother's box, without being hurt, is, of course, never 
omitted. Then, its all "imagination," although babies 
and horses are cured by it as well or better than the most 
imaginative young or old ladies. Then, its all " diet," 
although it is well known that we always allow a more 
liberal diet than the Old School physicians. Then, its all 
"nature," but the wonder is that Nature should always 
practice in partnership with us and not with them. But 
all these things are shallow and silly — quite beneath the 
dignity of the present argument. Our answer to all this 
is the following. 


It has spread over the civilized world and has been 
especially favored by the most influential and intelligent 
classes of society. It has schools, hospitals, journals, dis- 
pensaries, associations of all kinds ; and it numbers its 
practitioners by thousands, and its patients by millions. 

It has given a new and vast impetus to the study of 
the true action of drugs by experimentation with them 
on the healthy system. 

It has thus re-organized, we might almost say, created 
a Materia Medica, a glorious monument of learning, 
industry and self-sacrifice. 

It has rendered Pathology the highest service by mak- 
ing that great branch of medical science truly practical ; 
for an exact parallel, functional and organic, between 
the phenomena of diseases and drugs, is necessary to the 
scientific selection of homoeopathic medicines. 

By its great therapeutic law, it has introduced new 
light, order, beauty and efficiency into the theory and 
practice of medicine. 


It has cured thousands of cases of chronic disease 
beyond the reach of Allopathic art, and has treated all 
the acute diseases with admirable success. 

It has met all the great epidemics, and proved itself 
always superior to the Old System. I was converted 
from the Old to the New School by witnessing the tri- 
umphs of Homoeopathy in the treatment of the Asiatic 
Cholera in the terrible epidemics of 1849-50-51. In 
Yellow Fever its success was equally surprising. Dr. 
Davis and myself treated over a thousand cases at Natchez 
in 1853-5, with a mortality of less than 7 per cent. On 
account of this great triumph, we were elected Physi- 
cians and Surgeons of the Mississippi State Hospital, (an 
old and well endowed Allopathic institution,) and our 
reports from that institution were further confirmatory 
of the superiority of the New System. 

It has saved thousands of cases from surgical opera- 
tions, and has introduced new comfort and safety into the 
lying-in room of woman. 

It has been a blessing to children and to mothers incal- 

It has been found as useful in the diseases of animals 
as of men, and many veterinary institutions have been 
established for its practice. 

Finally, it has shortened the average duration of dis- 
ease, diminished the expense of treatment, economized 
the vital resources of the patient, and delivered its friends 
from the frequently baneful and long-lasting effects of 
enormous doses of medicine. 


With all these inherent advantages and elements of 
success, who believes that Homoeopathy can ever be 


destroyed by any thing its enemies may say or do ? On 
the other hand, what a pity it is. that with so much neu- 
tral ground to stand upon, and so much real harmony 
beneath the outward show of total dissimilarity: what a 
pity it is, that there should be two great rival schools of 
medicine, jarring and jangling, and foolishly abusing each 
other! It is the fault of both. Hahnemann was a great 
and high spirited "regular physician," and he published 
his first homoeopathic teachings in the best medical 
journal in Europe. He was met by that storm of oppo- 
sition, ridicule, and contempt with which mediocre con- 
servatism always assails the Columbuses, the Luthers, the 
Harveys, the Jenners, the Fultons of our race. He 
became exasperated and dogmatic, and henceforth aspired 
to found a New School, as different from the other as pos- 
sible. No great reformer ever imposed the despotism of 
the master so thoroughly on his disciples. This genera- 
tion, however, is getting rid of it ; Hahnemann is falling 
back to a subordinate place ; and Homoeopathy reformed, 
emancipated, and rationalized, is established on a stronger 
and more scientific basis than ever. 

Whilst the Homoeopathists are no longer Hahnemann- 
ians, the Old School is approaching to Homoeopathy 
with rapid strides. They have decreased their doses in 
the most exemplary manner. They have acquired more 
knowledge of the natural history of disease, and more 
respect for a purely expectant medicine. Their acknowl- 
edgment of the homoeopathic law is extending, and 
volumes of good Homoeopathy might be picked out of 
their published practice. They have even formed socie- 
ties to ascertain the true effect of drugs by experiment- 
ing on themselves, in imitation of Hahnemann and his 
disciples. Their great leaders are questioning all the old 


settled principles and practice of Allopathy. The lancet 
is almost wholly abandoned by them. They denounce the 
abuses of quinine and opium and calomel and purga- 
tives almost as energetically as we do. The spirit of 
innovation is doing a good work. Faith in their own prin- 
ciples and practice is declining every where Dr. Holmes, 
the great humorist and opponent of Homoeopathy, (him- 
self an Allopothic professor,) declares that :f all the medi- 
cines in the world, except wine and opium, were thrown 
into the sea, it would be better for men and only worse 
for the fishes. 

The closer our approximation to the truth on any sub- 
ject, the more thoroughly we shall agree in opinion. 
There are no skeptics or heretics in mathematics or 
astronomy. It follows, that all the discrepancies of opin- 
ion which men entertain, arise from ignorance of natural 
laws, from merely partial glimpses of them, or from mis- 
conceptions of their true meaning and extent. The 
present chaos of the mental and moral world is to be 
remedied, like the old terrestrial chaos, by the creation and 
influx of light. Knowledge is the true and only healer 
of dissensions. The powerful ferment of thought which 
characterizes the present century, will eventuate in a 
better order of things, and the establishment of the true 
fundamental principles of theology, government, science 
and art. For medicine, too, and medical men, there is a 
coming millenium and the reign of brotherly love.